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Egypt will buy one AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) system from the United States to protect its Airbus 340-200 Head-of-State transport aircraft to improve the survivability of the Airbus from missile attacks. The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman with an estimated total cost of US$104M.

The Generation 3 podded LAIRCM system, known previously as GUARDIAN, is an infrared countermeasure system that detects, tracks and jams incoming missiles. It incorporates advanced missile warning sensors, a compact laser pointer/tracker and a processor in a single pod that can be readily transferred between aircraft to meet rapidly changing mission requirements.

This mature system leverages Northrop Grumman’s decades-long countermeasures experience and requires no aircrew intervention. The Airbus 340-200 aircrews can focus on their critical refuelling, aeromedical evacuation and cargo missions while gaining the full survivability benefits the LAIRCM system provides.

Each LAIRCM system consists of:

  • three Guardian laser turret assemblies
  • one LAIRCM system processor replacement
  • five missile warning sensors
  • one control indicator unit replacement
  • one smart card assembly
  • one high capacity card/user data memory card

Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasure systems have been installed on more than 1,800 large and small fixed wing, rotary wing and tilt-rotor platforms of more than 80 types.

J C Menon